“The Walking Dead” is based on Robert Kirkman’s popular comic series. It is an AMC series following a small group of survivors trekking across the United States in search of a safe haven following a zombie apocalypse. “The Walking Dead” finished up its first season over the weekend, setting basic cable ratings records for the explosive finale. With success – “The Walking Dead” was renewed for a second season very early in its run, and has been by far the most popular series ever on AMC, drawing twice as many viewers as the channel’s most critically lauded show, “Mad Men.” The season finale lurched all the way to the ratings record book, drawing six million viewers – more than any other AMC series.
I had the chance to speak with Anthony Guajardo today, who plays ‘Miguel‘ on the hit show, about things such as getting his start in acting, the realistic look of the walkers, and what’s next for him. You can read about that – and more! – below.
How did you get started in acting?
I was 5 and most little kids want to be things like a fireman or an astronaut but the first thing that I wanted to be was an actor. My mom thought it was just a phase I was going through but I bugged her for 2 years. When I was 7, she looked up agencies and found the one I’m with now, Calliope Talent. I wrote a letter and had a meeting and ever since then I’ve been doing auditions.
How did you get involved with ‘The Walking Dead?’
I was at home and I got a call from my agent that I had been requested to do the audition for Miguel. I got really excited! I went in for the audition and read the script, and it was for a gangster character and I thought ‘What? I’m not gangster at all.’ I hated the audition because I figured I wouldn’t get booked. I got a call the next day and was told they wanted me to come in and audition again but this time be more gangster. So I went by the mall and they had these 50 cent tattoo machines and I bought some and put them on and auditioned again, this time feeling more confident. I went home and got a phone call saying I booked it. I freaked out and was jumping up and down all around my house. They asked me if the tattoos were real and I told them they were fake so they asked me if I could get more of the tattoos. I went down and spent about $50 on them, and they had told me they’d have the tickets ready to fly me out the next day.
Up close, how realistic do the walkers look? Do they look creepy?
They look crazy! My mom and I were on set laughing because they looked so cool, walking around smoking cigarettes on their breaks.
How has this cast ensemble been to work with?
Everyone has been great. I was really nervous and my first scene was with Norman Reedus. I introduced myself and he was pretty cool. Working with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and T-Dog (IronE Singleton) was also a lot of fun. Everyone on set was really great and they gave me a lot to work with.
What was the biggest challenge for you in doing the show?
Trying to act like a badass but scared at the same time. The director was telling me that my character was tough but scared, and mad at getting beat up.
What have you enjoyed most about being a part of this show?
The people I’ve met on Twitter, Facebook, or in Texas that say they like the roll. It makes me happy and makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
Did you or anyone else think or expect the show to become such a hit?
I didn’t expect it to be what it is, but I expected that it would be a good show. I had never heard of the comic book before but a friend of mine had. On set, I was just like “Wow, this is awesome.” I was used to doing extra roles, but this just sort of blew up. It’s awesome.
What do you think it is about this gruesome zombie apocalypse show that has really struck a chord with viewers?
I think that it’s not just about zombies but it’s also about the people, too. Each character is different and it does a good job of drawing people in. I love the show and love seeing people freak out on eachother. It’s real life.
Do you think your character, Miguel, will be back for season 2?
I surely hope so! I’m praying for it. People are also telling me that they hope so, and I hope the people on ‘The Walking Dead’ see that. They did a vote on facebook and our episode, Vatos, had the most votes up until the finale, I think. Our episode did really good.
What’s next for you?
I’m not sure. I’ve been doing auditions and did a short film with Ron Guajardo, no relation, called ‘Wild Sunday.’ I did an AAA commercial and have been doing what I can.
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Images Via: Calliope Talent, Google